Mangos put five past Slimbridge
Mangotsfield United (in yellow) take on Slimbridge on New Year's Day Picture: David Smale
AN amazing 5-3 win at Slimbridge lifted everyone’s spirits as Mangotsfield United got 2022 off to a great start.
The festive period had started with two home defeats. A week before Christmas, the Mangos started brightly against play-off chasers Winchester City, with Wayne Nderemani scoring on 15 minutes, but Oliver Bailey struck twice for the visitors before half-time.
Despite valiant Mango efforts in the second half they couldn’t level, and when Bailey completed his hat-trick and Henry Brooks made it 4-1 on 76 minutes, it was all over. A late penalty by Daniel McBeam made it 4-2.
The Monday after Christmas saw the Mangos go down 3-0 at home to local rivals Bristol Manor Farm in front of a healthy crowd of 347.
It was a game where the hosts never really got going. Aron Robbins scored right on half time and Jayden Nielsen's goal, just 2 minutes into the second half, meant the Mangos needed a 'Plan C', as the half-time talk for Plan B had quickly been scuppered. Jake Gosling made it 3-0, right on 90 minutes, just to rub salt into the wound.
However, New Year’s Day was somewhat different, as the Mangos went goal-crazy at Slimbridge and banged in five. William Hawes gave the Swans the lead after just 5 minutes, but the Mangos rolled their sleeves up and Harry Haughton levelled four minutes later. A fine 25-yard strike by Luke Smith put the Mangos ahead on 23 minutes.
Slimbridge began strongly in the second half and the visiting supporters groaned when the hosts levelled on 50 minutes through Hawes again, but Daniel McBeam netted twice, on 54 and 55 minutes, and the Mangos were suddenly 4-2 up! Hawes completed his hat-trick on 73 minutes to set up a grandstand finish, but Joe Cattermole hooked one home for the Mangos on 84 minutes to make it 5-3 and seal the win. A gate of 193 was Slimbridge’s best home crowd for some years.
The two subsequent fixtures were both postponed – January 8's match against Highworth Town because of a waterlogged pitch and the January 15 fixture at Larkhall Athletic because the home side were on FA Trophy duty.
January 29 v AFC Totton (away)
February 1 v Yate Town (home) (Gloucestershire FE Trophy semi-final)
February 5 v Cinderford Town (away)
February 19 v Melksham Town (away)
February 26 v Lymington Town (home)